Each day of the week has a special significance and is apportioned to one or more Hindu gods or goddesses with folklore surrounding them. Vrats, fasting and observance of religious rituals are dedicated to the a particular god in the Hindu pantheon to appease Him or her. You see, ancient sages used observances such as these to spread the awareness of different gods. They would look into all aspects of life to introduce divinity in some way. Fasting and other rituals pave the path of the divine for the devotees to realize god, which is considered the sole purpose of human existence.
NAVAGRAHAS represents the nine celestial influencers in Vedic Astrology. The seven days are named after the celestial bodies of our solar system - the Sun, Moon and the planets. Apart from these, mention should be made here of Rahu and Ketu, the two nodes of the Moon - the north and the south, the points of intersection of the paths of the Moon and the Sun. Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon and the Sun are at Rahu or Ketu. So, Navagraha comprises of 1.Surya –Sun; 2.Chandra –Moon; 3. Mangala –Mars; 4.Budha –Murcury; 5. Brihaspati –Jupiter; 6. Shukra –Venus; 7. Shani –Saturn; 8.Rahu and 9.Ketu.
Shukra is charming, has a splendors physique, is excellent or great in disposition, has charming eyes, is a poet, is phlegmatic and windy and has curly hair, says the sage Parasara. ‘Shukra’ means white bright or semen. Shukracharya is pulled by eight flaming horses. His consort is Dwarjaswini.
Shukra is rajasik in nature. He is an embodiment of love and a benefic planet and governs refined attributes, romance, beauty, sensuality, passion, comforts, luxuries, jewelry, wealth, art, music and dance. The spring season and bedroom serenity and sex-life is said to be Shukra’s domain.
Shukra is a karaka or indicator of spouse, love and marriage. When Shukra’s sight is strong, it brings wealth, comfort, attraction to the opposite sex in early part of life. It makes its natives tender, gentle and considerate. They are lovers of jewelry, sour taste, white dresses, decorations, perfumes, tasty foods and fine arts.
MYTHOLOGY: In Hindu mythology, Venus is known as Shukra. He is the son of the great seer Bhrigu and Usha. Bhrigu was an astrologer and taught Shukran all the spiritual sciences and scriptures. He becomes the teacher of the asuras due to enmity towards Brahaspati-Jupiter. In his position as preceptor of the antigods, Shukra prays to Lord Shiva to learn the art of brining on to life after they are killed in battle. This mantra of immortality is called Sanjivani Vidya.
Asuras are the demonic aspect of the divine and locked in eternal battle with the Devas. The asuras-Shukra alliance gives the asuras an unfair advantage. So Brihaspati, the guru of the Devas, sends his son Kacha to study under Shukra. Kacha means brightness. There must be a love story somewhere for excitement so you have it! Shukra has a beautiful daughter by the name of Devayani. Her name means ‘way to the Gods’. She is attracted to Kacha and it is mutual. The asuras learn of this and kill him. Devayani goes running to the father and Shukra chants the immortality mantra to revive Kacha. The asuras kill him again and Kacha comes back to life. The asuras were undeterred. This time around they kill him, grind the corpse into fine powder and add to Shukra’s wine. He drinks it. With Devayani grieving again, Shukra chants the mantra only to get a stomach ache. Kacha speaks to the would-be father in law from inside him!
The asuras are happy that Kacha has been done for but it was not to be the case. Sukra reveals the mantra of immortality to Kacha internally.Then Kacha tears out from Shukra’s body. He then repeats the mantra to revive Shukra. This is the reason given for wine prohibition ‘which may cause stomach ache.’ But then on the other side Goddess Kali likes wine offering for Her reasons also but that is another matter!
DEVI BHAGAVATA PURANA: Shukra is said to be the Bhargava rishi of the Atharvan descendent of sage Kavi. He was born on Sraavana Suddha Ashtami when Swati nakshtra is on ascent. He went to study the Vedas under rishi Angirasa but impeded by the guru’s favoritism towards his son Brihaspati. Then Shukra studies under Gautama rishi and performs penance to Lord Shiva for the Sanjivi mantra. He marries Priyavrata’s daughter Urjaswathi. They have four sons, Chanda, Amarka, Tvastr, Dharaatra and daughter Devayani. Brihaspati becomes guru of devas and Sukracharya to the Asuras. In this Purana, Deyanani is rejected by Kaca, Brihaspati’s son and marries Yayati who found the Kuru dynasty. Yayati is a Kuru king and the son of king Nahusha, ancestor of the Pandavas. So, the wine story is missing here!
SUKRAVARAM. Friday or Shukravar is dedicated to Shakti. Mother Goddess Durga and Kali are worshipped with utmost devotion. Shree Shuktam or Durga Chalisa is recited during the prayers. Prayers are individual and regional so sometimes one has Goddess Lakshmi or Santhoshi Mata Arati also. Santhosi Maa is an incarnation of Shakti. Kali Arati is also common.
Shukravar fasting begins at sunrise and ends with sunset and devotees wear white dress and partakes in the evening meal that consists of white-colored food like 'kheer' or 'payasam' a dessert made of milk and rice. In Bengal and elsewhere in India importance is attached to the 'Solah Shukravar Vrats.' This is fasting for consecutive 16 Fridays dedicating it to Santoshi Mata, where a devotee fasts for 16 consecutive Fridays. Sour food is avoiding in this vrat. Goddess Santoshi Mata grants devotees any wish or desire if she is amply satisfied with the purity of their devotion. Lord Shukra provides happiness and material wealth and the period of Shukra in the devotees' astrological chart is considered to be most productive and lucky.
ZODIAC: Venus or Shukra rules Friday and is considered to be effective worship of Shukra. He is the Lord of Tula. Shukra takes one year to complete the zodiac cycle living one month in each Rasi.
SHUKRA MANTRA: "Om Dram Dreem Draum Sah Shukraya Namah" "Om Shum Shukraya Namah"
SHUKRA GAYATRI MANTRA
Om Aswadhwajaaya Vidmahe
Dhanur hastaaya dheemahi
Tanno shukra prachodayaat
NAVAGRAHA SHUKRA MANTRA
"Himkundmrinaalaabham Daityaanam Paramam Gurum
Sarvashastrapravaktaram Bhargavam Pranmaamyaham"
Meaning : I bow down to Shukra who is as white and fair as snow and who is the teacher of daithyas who are the enemies of Gods and who is knowledged of all scriptures.
Best of Shukra-Niti by Maharishi Guru Shukraacharya
The mere mention of a woman’s name delights a person and his thoughts are filled with lust, then why not by looking at a beautiful woman who makes her eyebrows dance.
Why not a woman, who is clever enough to have her food alone, who talks softly and delightfully, who can taunt affectionately, will capture the heart of any man.
The lust for ‘other women’ has caused destruction to many men like Indra, Dandakya, Nahusha and Ravana.
A king should never have lust for ‘other women’, should never have greed for ‘other’s wealth’, should never give punishment to his subject in anger because ‘Lust’, ‘Greed’ and ‘Anger’ are the causes for downfall.
If there is a fear of the food being poisoned, then it should be examined by the help of a monkey, cock etc. The mere sight of the poisoned food makes a swan (Hansa) to totter, the black bee begins to make a noise, the peacock begins to dance, the cock begins to ‘crow’, the Heron (KRAUNCH PAKSHI) gets intoxicated, the monkey begins to pass ‘filth’ and urine, the mongoose (BABHRU) gets excited, the ‘starling’ (SAARIKA PAKSHI) starts vomiting- These are the ways to examine the poisoned food. The king and his administrators must examine the food, whether it is poisoned or not, before consuming it.
One should not clean his nostrils by inserting fingers in it, should not draw lines on the earth suddenly or should not dig the earth. One should not scratch his head with both the hands.
One who ignites fire and causes destruction, one who gives poison, one who is Eveready to kill intoxicated by the power of his sword, one who plunders others wealth, one who overtakes others farm and woman- should be considered as a TYRANT.
One must not be indifferent towards his wife, his son, diseases, servants, domestic animals, wealth, knowledge and studies and doing service to a gentleman for a moment. One must always take care of them.
One should accept the good qualities of even the enemies and should salute him but on the other hand even if his teacher has bad qualities, he should reject them.
A misadventurist, who tries to do any work in a haste without giving much thought, and without knowing the consequences, gets only sorrow either because of the work itself or because of the consequences of that work.
A man who is under the influence and control of women, who is a debtor, struck by extreme poverty, a demander without any quality and wealth- such a man is worse than a dead man, though being alive.
One should maintain secrecy of his age, wealth, demerits of his home, Hymn (mantra), copulation, medicine, charity, respect and disrespect i.e. he should never tell others of these nine things.
Karma is the cause for our SUGATI- happy conditions and DURGATI- miseries in this world. PRAARABDHA- providence, destiny is nothing else but our KARMAS (deeds, good and evil) of PURVAJANAM (our previous birth regeneration). Can any one live for a second without doing a KARMA.
In this world, no one is a Brahmin (BRAHMA), KSHATRIYA (a warrior caste), VAISHYA (caste doing trading/business) and SHUDRA (low caste) by birth but on the basis of quality (GUNAA) and deeds and actions (KARMA) Brahmin (Brahmana) is created by having following qualities like GYAANKANDA (having yearning for the Holy Scriptures), KARMAKANDA (knowledge of performing YAGNA (HOMA) and UPASANA (WORSHIP). He is also engrossed in worship of the deities, is gentle, has controlled his senses and is kind.
One who cleverly protects his subjects, is brave, has control over his senses and whose nature is to punish the wrong doers is called a KSHATRIYA.
One who is efficient in KRAYA (purchasing) and VIKRAYA (selling) daily earns his livelihood by his business, one who does PASHU PAALANA (animal husbandry and farming are called VAISHYA in this world.
Those who are in the service of the DWIJA (BRAHMA, KSHATRIYA AND VAISHYA, brave, gentle have control over their senses, carry plough (HALA), KAASHTHA (WOOD) and TRINA (grass) are called SHUDRA.
Those who abandon their own DHARMA (RELIGION) lack kindness, cause harm to others, possess excessive anger and are violent are called MLECCHA and they lack the power of REASONING (VIVEKA).
A man is capable or incapable of doing Karmas (good or evil) in his present life according to the Karmas done in his previous birth that is if he has done evil Karmas or good Karmas in his previous birth, then his mind will change accordingly in his present birth and will do good or evil Karmas to face its consequences.
The mind changes as soon as the time comes to face the consequences of the Karmas.
As the destiny is, accordingly one gets friends (good or evil) All the actions of the world are based on BHAGYA- destiny and PURUSHARTHA- labour, actions committed in the previous birth are destiny and actions committed in this life are called PURUSHARTHA. Thus KARMAS have been differentiated in two ways whichever of the two (BHAGYA and PURUSHARTHA) is powerful forces the other to surrender. The strength cannot be identified merely by analyzing the results of the Karma or by any other means.
It would not have been possible to destroy the evils and evil doers if the destiny was unchangeable that is PURUSHARTHA (labour) can change even the BHAGYA (destiny) If the destiny is unfavourable then the most virtuous of actions gives bad results just like the king Bali who was tied up even after being so charitable and Harishchandra had to serve a MLECHA, even after being a Truthful man.
Good actions give good results and evil actions give bad results, so one must accept good actions and reject evil actions as described in the scriptures.
source : http://www.riiti.com/294/best_of_shukra_niti_-_by_sage_shukracharya